Thursday, January 21, 2010

Belonging

I have a tendency to struggle to feel like I'm part of a group. It's not that I feel like I'm an outcast or anything like that - I just don't always know how to stop feeling like the new kid and to start feeling like I'm actually a welcome, contributing member. Sometimes this happens when I'm at a party and don't know how to go up and talk to someone; sometimes I just don't feel like I should offer to help with something because it just isn't my place. I hold back and don't add to conversations because I feel like my contribution wouldn't be welcome.

I don't know why I sometimes feel this way. There are other times when I feel fully in control of a situation, and I become the person trying to make other people feel welcome and comfortable. It's just that the times when I feel out of place and awkward are so frequent.

The other day I was participating in a discussion wherein we were talking about those times in our lives when we just felt like we were out of place, but then it turned out later that we were in exactly the right place. I don't know if you've ever had that experience, but sometimes I look back on those awful times and realize that things worked out and that I was okay - and that in retrospect it feels like I was supposed to be there. I don't know if this is just a testament to human beings' infinite ability to adapt or whether I just really belonged there all along, but thinking about this got me thinking, what would happen if I just always assumed that I belong?

Here's my reasoning. When I feel comfortable and really believe I'm in the right place, I behave as if I have things under control. I'm more likely to volunteer to help people, to talk to people and try to include them.

So I came up with a new goal. Wherever I am, I'm going to assume that I'm in the right place. And except for in certain circumstances, I'm going to assume that people will accept me and like me (because hey, I'm likable and acceptable). I'm going to act as if I belong and hope that it makes it easier for me to believe it myself - to overcome my insecurities and gain more confidence. Feel free to join me. You belong here too.

3 comments:

Jess said...

Thank you for your post. I find myself feeling the exact same way. I think your goal is admirable and I am going to try it as well.

Chelsee said...

Thank you so much for your post! I have been realizing lately that I feel exactly the same way. Its nice to know that I am not alone, and also to know some great ideas on how to overcome it. Thanks again!

Being Lovely said...

I struggle with this as well...even in some of my most comfortable surroundings, I feel like I'm outside the loop. So I'm with you on this one, Megan.

Lin